Dawson Creek, British Columbia Solar Strategy
The South Peace area of British Columbia is known for its long hours of daylight. At summer solstice, Dawson Creek receives 17.5 hours of sunlight. In the winter, days are short but usually quite sunny.
Because of the amount of sunlight we receive, and because of its potential for becoming one of the best, most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases, the City is working on developing solar energy in the area.
Buildings and operations
In order to reduce the amount of natural gas the city uses, our goal is to install solar hot water systems anywhere we heat water with natural gas. City Hall and the Fire Hall already have systems. RCMP, arenas, yards and the airport are scheduled for installations. Areas such the Fire Hall, RCMP and the arenas have very good payback periods and while in the other building that might not be the case, it is still worthwhile to install the systems as they provide opportunity for leadership and energy security.
In addition to solar hot water, we are also using solar-generated electricity on a number of traffic lights. These lights are specifically designed for traffic control, and will increase visibility of the signage. These lights are very cost effective as no wiring is required.
We are also looking at bus stops, walking trails and walkways as areas that could benefit from this type of technology.
100,000 Solar Roofs Task Force
Because of our early adoption of solar potential in BC, we were asked to co-chair a task force called “The 100,000 Solar Roofs Policy Task Force” which will act as a deployment strategy to incorporate solar energy into British Columbia’s energy portfolio. The program will remove barriers by stimulating the demand for solar technologies, promoting the popularization of residential solar systems, reducing the cost of the systems, training solar installers and developing better manufacturing and system technologies and infrastructure.
The task force is expected to deliver its final report in October of this year.
Education - Northern Lights College
Last year we asked Northern Lights College to consider delivering alternative energy training opportunities as an add-on certification to their existing programs. NLC has been a great partner and are becoming the leaders in delivering these programs in BC, which add a lot of value to our community. Working with the Canadian Solar Industry Association (CANSIA), BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) and other groups, the College is delivering solar hot water installation training. Other programs such as Solar PV (Electric), wind turbine maintenance and geothermal installation are also forthcoming.